The National Interest Movement (NIM) is a non-partisan civil society
platform that independently promotes an alternative to the winner takes all electoral system in Ghana.
NiM's agenda is a comprehensive reform of Ghana's 1992 Constitution to
"remove key impediments (road blocks) to our nation's progress,so that we can reset our county's development on a faster path to prosperity for all, and not only a few."
Prosperity for all must be the foundation for progress in Ghana.To
achieve it. NIM proposes some radical changes to our 1992 constitution and also how our insitutions work now.
"NIM's reform agenda will ensure greater inclusion.meritocracy,"
"accountability, transparency,equity, discipline and patriotism in governance. The outcome will be human centered development for a more just and fairer society."
Pursuing the national interest above partisan and personal interests
"means an absolute war on corruption!,nepotism.and rent seeking behavior that has become the norm for public office."
NIM's commitment to achieving this system change (new pathway) is
the basis of NIM's campaign and is also NIM's People's Charter for a more progressive nation with transformed living standards..
NIM’s approach is to mobilize support for the People’s Charter as a vehicle that will win the electoral mandate for an Independent Presidential Candidate that will be bound by the National Interest and not partisan or sectional interests.
The NIM will rely on the National Interest Platform (NIP) to mobilize other civil society, non-partisan organizations of like mind through a consultative process. NIP will facilitate members of NIM to agree on a comprehensive list of reforms that will significantly change Ghana’s system of government in favour of:
1. a restrained dominance of the executive Presidency in control of appointments and budget
2. contained excesses of short term partisan expediency
3. increased continuity through duration of tenure for governments to one term of 6 years.
4. a realistic and genuine devolution of financial and political power to regions
5. social reconstruction through nationally aligned education and compulsory military service for youth (16 to 26)
6. Alignment of financial sector to support productive sectors of the economy through policy, controlled expenditure of public purse and out right capping of interest rates.
7. A comprehensive and aggressive attack on unemployment especially youth unemployment through a cohort of intensive and persistent policies that support local entrepreneurship and encourage foreign investors to partner Ghanaians for reduced cost of doing business and ease of access to special empowerment schemes for domestic industry and commerce.
NIP will be the fulcrum to identify organizations with similar objectives and act as a think tank for fostering the emergence of a collective National Interest Movement (NIM) from among them.
NIM will primarily support an alternative political force (third force) that commits to pivotal constitutional and policy reforms in deliberate pursuit of a definitive paradigm shift in Ghana’s system of governance. The said paradigm shift must be defined in a manner that will positively impact Ghana’s electoral systems, economy and social fabric.
A summary of next steps to be taken to form NIM include:
1. Formulate a reform agenda as a people’s charter that will be its social compact.
2. Facilitate a meeting of like minds that will adopt and subscribe to the People’s Charter as a basis for forming a coalition pressure group cum a political movement called the National Interest Movement (NIM).
3. Shaping and instituting NIM’s governance, structures and organizational procedures and programs.
4. Fund raising and support for NIM’s operations budget.
5. Launch of NIM and facilitating it to achieve its goal in partnership with other actors that have clear national interest agendas.
6. Promote NIM as a vehicle for a convergence of all progressive forces that will give voice to the marginalized poor, the muted middle class and increasingly frustrated intelligentsia.
7. Outreach to other African Countries whose democracies have stagnated and become dysfunctional duopolies. NIM will share its experiences and also examine viability and suitability of its template for emancipation from the yoke of an elite entrenched political class at home and abroad.
8. Nurture a pan African network of similar organizations with similar challenges. Together these disenfranchised groups will be galvanized to denounce and renounce an entrenched political elite that has fritted away of opportunity for a far brighter common future through profligate expenditure and neglect that has not focused on the priorities that gives the masses the greatest dividends.
9. Share and acknowledge Ghana’s successes not only the failures. NIM shall be the bulwark for resistance against a tendency for doom and despair in Ghana’s society. NIM reaffirms that our fate is within our hands and a new generation must rise to the challenge of the path chartered for our complete emancipation. There is hope and doom is preventable if we change our path from self-seeking to commit to a People’s Charter of change that will bring prosperity for all.
The above is achievable if the national interest prevails in favour of the greater common good, against the rising tide of partisan self-serving interests. Increasingly there is a pervasive view that an entrenched elite political class that have long bewitched the electorate have the same value that is derisively called the “Dukadaya Syndrome”. Their days of unchallenged manipulation of the electorate through intimidation, aggressive violence, abuse of state’s power and purse are at an end. A veil of mystic has been lifted by the electorate’s increasing familiarity with the operation of a monetized two-party electoral dictatorship akin to a “see-saw”, or more appropriately in local parlance, “kokofu football”. In 2020 and beyond their game is up, as political neophytes come of age. Much will rest on the ability of the enlightened to implement their plan to mobilize the masses.
Once in position after its launch NIM leadership shall formulate a strategy and an agenda for its roll out. NIM will also commission study groups to map its policy position through statements on key policy sectors and issues of current social, economic and political debate.
The NIM Advisory Council will be comprised of NIM executives and designated leaders from its constituent members be they organizations or individuals. The Advisory council will appoint interim Executives to coordinate the NIM secretariat which will in turn form a campaign team to prosecute the national elections as one amalgamated independent body. with its own independent candidates for parliamentary seats and the Presidential slot. NIM secretariat will coordinate implementation of programs aimed at realizing the objectives of the people’s charter for attainment of a new reformed operating system. NIM secretariat shall also facilitate a unified approach for prosecuting the systems change agenda.
The People’s Charter
Reform Agenda and Mechanisms to effect a systems Change in constitution and key policies.
The People’s Charter of Emancipation shall seek constitutional changes and introduction of key policies that will result in a profoundly different system of governance, economic structure and social fabric of Ghanaian society. The People’s Charter shall seek to effect the following changes in governance, the economy and social reconstruction.
I. Have constitutionally inclusive government by general elections that shall be won by a simple majority of the Presidential candidate with the highest votes. No second rounds of voting shall be required. The Presidential Candidate with the highest votes has the first opportunity to form a government that will have a clear majority of seats in parliament either on its own or by coalition with one or more political entities that have parliamentary seats.
Failure to form and/or maintain a government with a majority in parliament may lead to a fresh general election within one year of its occurrence if a vote of no confidence with a two thirds majority is cast in parliament to that effect.
II. Constitutionally limit the excessive powers of the Presidency in favour of devolved power to the people through a series of measures that include a limit on range of appointments, control of budget, structure of governance and independence of civil service including sensitive government institutions (Judiciary and Army).
III. Extend the tenure for Presidential office to one term of 6 years. This will help increase opportunity of continuity to enable completion of programs and also to protect against self-serving power hungry temptations to steal or divert public funds for a second term campaign. The exception that will permit a sitting president to contest a second term shall be only if he/she gains an average of at least eighty percent (80%) approval rating in the fifth year of the first six year term. The poll must be conducted by at least three reputable independent bodies one of which must be an international body of known repute and impartiality.
Failure to attain the 80% approval rating automatically precludes the sitting candidate from contesting all subsequent presidential elections.
IV. Devolve power to Regions and re-designate regions as the tier for local government instead of Districts. This will give a new economy of scale that is functional and be a more attractive location for a hub of highly qualified technocrats needed to run the regions. Increase number of regions to 20 over the next 10 years. Regions will serve as provincial growth points to reduce current gross imbalance in infrastructure development between them and national capital, The latter continues to expand at the expense of regional capitals under the current system.
V. Make District and Municipality boundaries synonymous with Constituency boundaries, so that sum of all Districts and Municipal Assemblies are the same as the total number of constituencies. Eliminate the position of DCEs and MCEs and designate their functions to the elected Parliamentarians in each constituency. Parliamentarians upon election shall therefore work as both the Executive Official and the Parliamentary representative. It is an inconsistency for Ministers to be the spending officers at as head of Ministries and the MP to be divorced from executive function in their constituency.
VI. Constituencies (District Assemblies and Municipal Assemblies) shall be underpinned by Community Assemblies that correspond strictly with electoral areas with known polling stations at fixed locations.
VII. A general assembly of parliamentarians shall be convened for two weeks in every quarter to pass legislation. The rest of the time will be spent in their constituencies. Hotel accommodation shall be provided to parliamentarians during periods of call through a PPP arrangement. This will make further savings on staffing, houses, cars and travel expenses.
VIII. Members of Parliament shall no longer serve as Ministers in the executive. Ministers shall be recruited from public or private sector at the behest of the President.
IX. Ministers shall be appointed purely on merit of proficiency and competence from among all Ghanaians irrespective of partisan leanings.
X. Ghanaians with dual nationality shall be entitled to hold any public office including the Presidency provided they were Ghanaian at Birth and have two Ghanaian parents.
XI. Private members bill shall permitted and encouraged.
XII. Financial system shall be influenced to redirect investment into productive sectors of the economy in conformity with the declared objective of changing the architecture of the economy.
a. Thirty-five to forty percent of national budget shall be allocated to local governments by law to be administered from regions as centres of local government and focal points for industrial growth.
b. Interest rates for commercial lending shall be capped at fifteen percent (15%) percent. Rapacious activity of loan sharks shall be banned and eliminated.
c. A special window for agricultural lending (including agro-processing) shall be opened with interest rates set at 8% or less.
d. A savings culture shall be promoted in public and private life.
e. Local entrepreneurs will be put into a position of enhanced competitiveness through a weighted procurement process that will aim to develop the top 15 Ghanaian owned companies in every sub sectlor.
a. Travel - With exception of the President and Vice President and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Travel abroad by public officials for official business shall be restricted only to the most essential and certainly no more than one trip per official per annum for the Ministers and senior technocrats, irrespective of whether trips are funded by government budget or not.
b. Emoluments – Ex gratia for Presidents, Vice Presidents, Ministers and Parliamentarians will be paid only once irrespective of the number of tenures in office.
- Housing will be provided for only the most senior government officials of the rank of cabinet Ministers and above only during their tenure of office.
- Members of parliament (ordinarily resident in their constituencies) will be accommodated for only two weeks in every quarter during parliamentary sessions at the capital city. It is proposed that for this purpose a PPP should be used to build a five-star hotel with relevant amenities in the area behind parliament. The hotel shall be privately managed with government having an equity share holding for its contribution of land. Government will also get special rates for guaranteed block bookings for 300 plus for two weeks in every quarter.
XIV. Social reconstruction shall target the younger generation to influence emergence of more patriotic citizens with enduring positive values and attitudes that foster meritocracy, pragmatism and integrity within the ethos of social justice.
a. All youth between the ages of 16 to 30 shall serve at least 2 years of compulsory military service with option to extend it for additional two (2) years. Training shall be district based.
b. For regular ranks the additional two (2) year extension of the military service shall be contingent on recruitment into a technical training course with intention of passing a guilds certification at the end of the two year period.
c. Officer corps may complete a further 2 years as national service after or during completion of tertiary education.
XV. Citizen’s complaints desk shall be set up in every public and private office of corporate institutions and organizations. Complaints shall be addressed at community, constituency and national level. Justice shall be administered swiftly and with certainty with emphasis on the top public officials and heads of large corporations that operate foul of the law.
XVI. The Chieftaincy system shall be reviewed to help modernize it by ensuring that each Ghanaian enjoys their full rights as citizens of the republic regardless of allegiance to cultural rulers. The medieval nature of traditional rule shall be modernized to better reflect a twenty first century republic.